RUTH

I. Introduction.

1. Writer: is unknown but we know God breathed this book (II Tim. 3:16) and moved on a holy man to be used as a human instrument to pen this book down. (II Peter 1:21)

2. Time of the writing: after the rule of the Judges ceased and after David was born.  The writer knew David because he included him in the geneology of Ruth 4:18‑22; some believe that David may have been the one who penned down this book.

3. Time the narrative occurred: during the day when the judges ruled (Ruth 1:1); the condition of Israel during that time is described in Judges 21:25; after entering the land of Canaan and after the influence of Joshua (Judges 2:16‑17) had ceased to exist God sent conditions such as famines (Ruth 1:1) to cause Israel to cry out and repent; it was during one of these famines that the story in Ruth unfolds.

4. Theme: there are many words we could use to identify the theme but one of the best is "GRACE" which means undeserved favor.

 

II. Message of Grace.

 

CHAPTER 1:

 

      1. Neglected Grace. V. 1‑2

 

V. 1

1. "Now it came to pass" = "and it was."

2. "In the days when the judges ruled" = means this arrative occurred during the time when the judges ruled.

2. "Judges" = gifted leaders, divinely chosen by God in a time of crisis to rule a part of Israel (Judges 2:16‑18); they were empowered by the Holy Spirit (Judges 3:10); they continued in office until the time of their death and did not establish hereditary rulership over Israel (Judges 8:22-23) as kings of other nation did.

3. "Ruled" = the act of judging by punishing the offenders of Israel.

4. "Famine" = hunger due to withheld rain which caused the crops to fail to produce a harvest; sent by God because of either:

A. The sin of the people of Israel.

B. Or for testing the people of Israel to see what they would do or how they would respond to it.  God knew but the people did not.

5. "The land" = refers to the country or land of Israel which God had given to His people; does not refer to just the town of Bethlehem.

6. "A certain man" = by the name of "Elimelech" as verse 2 states; this phrase lets us know this is not some made up fairy tale but a true experience in this man and his family's life.

7. "Of Beth-lehem-judah" = the city of Bethlehem in the territory of Bethlehem in the territory of Judah given to the tribe of Judah when Israel entered Canaan land; "Bethlehem" means house of bread; the use of this lengthy word was to distinguish this city from another Bethlehem located in the tribe of Zebulun which list some of the cities of the children of Zebulun in Josh. 19:10-15; this city was located about 6 miles South of Jerusalem.

8. "Went" = signifies to arrive with the purpose to "sojourn" = to dwell as a stranger or foreigner; it seems that this man only intended to stay a short time‑‑until the famine was over in Bethlehem.

9. "Country of Moab" = the territory allotted to the incestuous son of Lot, Moab (Gen. 19:30‑38); called God's washpot twice. (Psa. 60:8; 108:9)

10. "He, and his wife, and his two sons" = Elimelech's entire family.

11. From the dry hills East of Bethlehem a person could see the lush green hills of the land of Moab on a clear day because the distance was only about 20 miles the way a bird would fly, and about 35 miles the way one would have to travel to get there.

 

V. 2

1. "Name of the man" = "Elimelech" which means "God is king,"

2. "Name of his (Elimelech's) wife" = "Naomi" which means "pleasant."

3. "Name of his (Elimelech's) two sons" = the names have the aspect of being prophetic.

A. "Mahlon" = means to be tender‑‑physically tender‑‑sick.

B. "Chilion" = means pining‑‑wasting away; both these boys seemed to have apparently inherited a delicate constitution which developed into premature sickness and decay‑‑for they died early in life.

4. "Ephrathites" = designation of the whole family, not just the two sons; people of Ephrath which was the old name of "Beth-lehem-judah" = see notes on verse 1.

5. "They" = the four of them; the entire family.

6. "Came" = arrived.

7. "Country of Moab" = see notes on verse 1.

8. "Continued there" = seems to indicate that they stayed longer than was their intention.

9. This family neglected grace.  They had a lot of grace (Titus 2:11)‑‑light for every man. (John 1:9)  This family had more than the average man for he was a Hebrew, one of God's chosen people.  More grace because he was of the tribe of Judah to which Christ was born.  But Elimelech, whose name means "God is king" left Bethlehem which means "the house of bread" to go to Moab which was "God's washpot."

10. Elimelech had a  lot of grace and he neglected it, which did not just affect him but his entire family.

 

       2. Need of Grace. V. 3‑5

V. 3

1. "Elimelech Naomi's husband died" = refers to physical death which is separation of the spirit and soul from the body; seems this happened soon after they arrived in Moab.

2. "Left" = left in the land of the living; refers to both Naomi and her two sons; she and her sons needed grace at this time.

 

V. 4

1. First "they" = "them" = the two sons.

2. "Took" = married; whether or not this was arranged by Elimelech according to the Jewish custom before he died, we do not know.

3. "Wives" = "women" = females; just as "husband" of verse 3 means male; thus marrige is between a man and a woman.

4. "Women of Moab" = descendents of Moab.

5. "The name of the one was Orpah" = name means "hind" or "fawn;" the wife of Chilion.

6. "The name of the other Ruth" = name means "friendship" or "beauty;" the wife of Mahlon. (Ruth 4:10)

7. Second "they" = includes Naomi and the two wives along with the two sons.

8. "Dwelled" = remained; settled; they came to "sojourn" (verse 1) but settled there (Moab) and stayed about 10 years before tragedy struck again.

9. They were in need of grace.

 

V. 5

1. "Mahlon and Chilion died" = refers to physical death which is separation of spirit and soul from the body.

3. "Also" = means the same as their father, Elimelech, died.

3. "Both of them" = refers to the two sons; it is tough if one son were to die and even tougher when two dies.

4. "Woman" = "her" = Naomi.

5. "Left of her two son and her husband" = she remained behind after they had gone on before; she survived them but she was in great need of grace.

 

      3. The nature of Grace. V. 6‑22

 

V. 6

1. "Then" = after Naomi (her) had buried her husband and two sons; may have been some time after their burial.

2. "Arose" = she had been sitting, as it were, where her husband had settled, and she now rose up to depart with her "daughters in law" = Orpah and Ruth.

3. "That" = introduces the reason she rose up‑‑"that she might return from the country of Moab" = leave Moab and return to Bethlehem.

4. "For" = introduces the reason she was going to return to Bethlehem "she had heard, etc." = news had traveled to the land of Moab that the famine had ended in Israel.

5. "LORD" = "his" = Jehovah; the self existent one who stands alone with no aid from anybody or any other being in this world or out of this world; OT equivalent of the Lord Jesus who is the I AM.

6. "His people" = "them" = the Hebrew people; Israel‑‑God's earthly chosen nation.

7. "Visited in giving bread" = the Lord had directed His attention to His people by ending the famine, thus allowing the crops to grow.

8. "Bread" = grain out of which bread was made.

 

V. 7

1. "Wherefore" = in view of the fact that the Lord had visited Bethlehem.

2. "She" = "her" = Naomi.

3. "Went forth out of the place where she was" = she proceeded to leave the country of Moab; there is no mention of a specific location in the country of Moab.

4. "Her two daughters in law with her" = Orpah and Ruth, who were so attached to their mother‑in‑law that they desired to leave their own country and go to Bethlehem.

5. "They" = Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth.

6. "Went on the way to return unto the land of Judah" = they left their homes in Moab and begin the journey walking down the main road that led back into the land of Judah, specifically Bethlehem.

 

V. 8

1. The conversation of verses 8‑18 probably occurred at the border of Moab and Judah.  The custom of that day was for those closely connected to someone to accompany them to the next city or to the border of another country or at least to travel a good distance with them on their journey. An example of this is in Acts 17:15 where some of the brethren of Berea conducted (to bring to a certain place) Paul and brought (accompanied to a place) him to Athens.

2. "Two daughters in law" = "each" = "her" = "you" = "ye" = Orpah and Ruth.

3. "Go, return each to her mother's house" = go back home; every step further would only increase the length of their return journey; her mention of "mother's house" instead of father's no doubt reveals the custom of those days‑‑the mothers and not the fathers were responsible in making arrangements for their daughters.

4. "The LORD" = Jehovah; Israel's God and Naomi's as well.

5. "The LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me" = this statement reveals:

A. That these two had acted very kindly toward Naomi and toward their husbands who were now dead.

B. She assumes that her own Jehovah reigned in Moab as well as in Judah and that all blessings descended from Him.  In a sense all blessings does descend from the Lord but He was not the God of the Moabites.  Her spiritual condition had blinded her to truth.

 

V. 9

1. "LORD" = Jehovah; the self‑existent One; Israel's God.

2. "Grant" = to give.

3. "You" = "ye" = "them" = "they" = "their" = the two daughters in law.

4. "Find rest" = acquire consolation; not so much in an ordinary sense, as in the sense of safe shelter; in ancient orient the position of unmarried women and young widows was perilous; the one place a woman could find rest or safe shelter was in a "house of her husband;" this alone was a woman's safe shelter from servitude and neglect.

5. "In the house of her husband" = refers to marriage; it seems that Naomi had more concern for the comfort of the body than the comfort of the soul.

6. "She" = Naomi.

7. "Kissed them" = the Hebrew construction reveals that Naomi imparted herself passionately to her beloved daughters‑in‑law and clung to them; she locked them lingeringly and lovingly in a farewell embrace and they reciprocated‑‑also clung to her.

8. "They lifted up their voice and wept" = both had an outward display of emotion; their action expresses that they were unwilling and reluctant to depart; in the East there is less self‑restraint in the matter of weeping audibly than in the West, even among men.

 

V. 10

1. "They" = "we" = the two daughters‑in‑law.

2. "Her" = "thee" = "thy" = Naomi.

3. "Surely" = only; word that shows a cause or reason; means Orpah and Ruth were saying we have a cause or reason for wanting to go with you.

4. "Return with" = they did not say they would go with her in her return; instead "we will return with thee" = for the moment they identify themselves with their mother‑in‑law as if they had come with her from Judah.

5. "Thy people" = the people of Bethlehem; Israelites.

6. Both were determined to go with Naomi.

 

V. 11

1. "Naomi" = "my" = "me" = the one who had buried her husband and two sons and was returning to Bethlehem.

2. "Turn again" = turn back; Naomi is trying to discourage them from going with her.

3. "My daughters" = notice she is so close to them she does not refer to them as her daughters in law but her daughters; this address reveals the tenderness she had for them.

4. "Why will ye go with me?" = what is the cause or reason you spoke as wanting to go with me? she is testing their motives.

5. "Are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands" = basically she is saying she is not with child; she is referring to the law found in Deut. 25:5‑10; these daughters‑in‑law having had husbands which died without children would have been entitled by the law of Moses to claim marriage with their husband's brothers if there were any; so Naomi is saying there is no children in my womb‑‑I have no more sons for you to marry, "Why will ye go with me?"

 

V. 12

1. "Turn again" = turn back; this is the second time Naomi has tried to discourage them from going with her.

2. "For I am too old to have an husband" = she is referring to not being able to have children‑‑"I am too old."

3. "If" = introduces a hypothetical situation, really three:

A. "If I have hope" = a hypothetical supposition that she could have sons.

B. "If I should have an husband also to night" = a hypothetical supposition that she might that very night have a husband.

C. If I (implied), "should also bear sons" = a hypothetical supposition that her sons were already brought forth with "bear" meaning in the Hebrew construction = have given birth.

4. This is a lot of supposing of something that would be totally impossible.  But her motive was to cause them to come face to face with reality about what they were saying to her, thus she asked them loaded questions in verse 13.

 

V. 13

1. "Ye" = "daughters" = "your" = Orpah and Ruth.

2. "Them" = the sons she hypothetically just dealt with.

3. "Tarry" = wait.

4. The questions:

A. "Would ye tarry for them till they were grown?" = would you wait for them to grow up?

B. "Would ye stay for them from having husbands" = would you keep yourselves pure and refrain from marriage till my sons grew up?

5.  "Nay" = not; no; Naomi answer both her questions for them; Paul gave Timothy advice concerning young widows‑‑which is what the two widows were‑‑young. (I Tim. 5:11‑14)

6. Third "for" = introduces the reason Naomi tried to discourage these two daughters‑in‑law from going with her.

7. "Me" = Naomi.

8. "Grieveth" = troubled.

9. "For your sakes" = really means "more than you."

10. Naomi knew they were grieved or troubled but she says, I'm troubled more than you because "the hand of the LORD is gone out against me" = in essence she is saying her sin had caused them to suffer but she suffers more now for she had lost more‑‑two sons and a husband; this phrase may indicate she had a large part in their family going to Moab; if she did not have a large part in it, she had failed to influence Elimelech to stay in Bethlehem; either way her sin caused grief to these two Moabitish girls and even more to herself.

11. "Hand of the LORD" = phrase used in the OT of the mighty manifestations of the power of God in behalf of His people whether it was for destruction of their enemy or for chastisement as is the case of Naomi.

12. Naomi told them the worse so they could count the cost and make their own choice with all the facts on the table. Jesus, as our example, told the worst to a zealous scribe in Mat. 8:19‑20.  As He said that He Himself "had no place to lay his head" He was saying to the scribe, "Know this and then consider if you can find it in your heart to follow me."

13. The nature of grace is that you must count the cost.

 

V. 14

1. "Thy" = "their" = Orpah and Ruth.

2. "Lifted up their voice and wept again" = this is the second time that they both expressed their emotion openly.

3. Now we see the choice each of the two widows made:

A. Orpah: "Kissed her mother in law" = this action reveals she took an affectionate leave, bade her farewell forever, without any purpose to follow her afterward; Bethlehem was in her eye but Moab was in her heart; Orpah is the first in a sad series of those like Jesus spoke of in Mark 12:34; she was so close to the kingdom yet turned back; Judas kissed the door of heaven and went to hell; in II Peter 2:20‑22 there is a warning given; Orpah's kiss showed she had an affection for Naomi but did not love her well enough to leave her country for Naomi's sake; many have an affection for the Lord yet come short of salvation because they cannot find it in their hearts to forsake other things; they say they love Him and yet leave Him, because they do not love Him enough, but love other things better; an example is the rich young ruler in Mat. 19:21-22; Jesus said count the cost before you choose (Luke 14:26, 27, 33); Orpah counted the cost and did not want to pay the price and chose wrong.

B. "But Ruth" = "but" = shows the contrast between Orpah and Ruth; Ruth counted the cost and chose right; she "clave unto her" = "clave" = means to cling to; adhere; stick like glue.

4. The nature of grace not only causes one to count the cost but it also has a cleaving nature.

 

V. 15

1. "She" = Naomi.

2. "Behold" = a word used to cause the listener to pay careful attention to what was about to be said.

3. "Thy" = "thou" = Ruth.

4. "Sister in law" = "her" = Orpah.

5. "Gone back" = same word as "turn again" in verses 11, 12; the text means she is now headed back to "her people and unto her gods" = "her people" = were the Moabite people and "her gods" were idols of the Moabites.

6. "Return" = same word as gone back but the Hebrew construction is different‑‑Naomi is telling Ruth the third time to turn back; she was putting her daughter‑in‑law to the final test possibly hoping and wishing she would go with her; this is similar to what Jesus said to the twelve in John 6:67‑68.

 

V. 16

1. "Ruth" = "me" = "I" = "my" = the Moabite daughter‑in‑law of Naomi.

2. "Thee" = "thou" = "thy" = Naomi.

3. "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee" = Ruth's mind is made up; the language she uses in verses 16‑17 indicates that she was fully aware of the dramatic and long‑term effects of her decision; therefore, she sternly and plainly told Naomi to stop insisting that she should go back to her own land; she speaks a language of one resolved for God and heaven.

4. "Whither thou goest, I will go" = Ruth is saying she would travel with Naomi to a country she never had seen and leave her own country; in essence she is saying "I'll travel down any road of thy choosing."

5. "Where thou lodgest, I will lodge" = she said she will dwell with Naomi, whether it be in a cottage, cabin, tent, or under the stars of heaven; she just wanted to be with Naomi.

6. "Thy people shall be my people" = she intertwines interest with her; she is saying, "thy people shall be mine to associate with, to be conformable to, and to be concerned for."

7. "Thy God my God" = she will join with her in worship; she is saying farewell to all the gods of Moab, which are vanity and a lie; also she is saying, "I will adore the God of Israel, the only living and true God, trust in Him alone, serve Him, and in everything be ruled by Him; it seems that from this point forward, Naomi's God became Ruth's God, for Ruth 2:12 brings out at some point she begin to trust Naomi's God as her God.

 

V. 17

1. "Where thou diest, will I die" = she will gladly die in the same bed as Naomi; she takes for granted they must both die and probably Naomi would die first; therefore, she resolves to continue in the same house after Naomi dies, if it might be, till her days be fulfilled.

2. "There I will be buried" = her desire was to be buried in the same grave and to have her bones laid next to Naomi's as was the custom to bury more then one in a grave; she was not desiring to have so much as her dead body carried back for burial to the land of nativity‑‑Moab.

3. "The Lord do so to me and more also, if ought but death part thee and me" = this is an oath Ruth made to back up her resolution‑‑what she had just said; she appeals to the God of the Israelites‑‑the LORD‑‑ by inviting His severest displeasure if she allowed anything but death to separate her from Naomi; she is saying:

      A. Not any kindness from her own family and people will separate.

      B. Not any unkindness from Israel.

      C. Not the fear of poverty and disgrace among them.

      D. Only death could separate.

4. Verse 16‑17 are used many times in marriage vows.  It is ok to use that for the vows of marriage for II Tim. 3:16 says, "All scripture is profitable for doctrine."  But the context of these verses has nothing to do with marriage.

 

V. 18

1. First and third "she" = and first "her" = Naomi.

2. Second "she" = "her" = Ruth.

3. "Saw" = perceived; to know and understand; she saw her motives were right and her heart was fixed.

4. "Stedfastly minded" = determined.

5. "Left speaking unto her" = she "gave in" to her; she quit trying to persuade her to turn back to Moab.

6. Then they probably turned and walked arm in arm to Bethlehem.

7. Orpah chose wrong and is never spoken of again and died and went to hell.  Ruth chose right and she is recorded in the genealogy of Jesus in Mat. 1:1,5.  That reveals the nature of grace‑‑that a Moabite, not only can be saved, but is in the lineage of Jesus.

 

V. 19

1. "They" = "them" = Naomi and Ruth.

2. "Went" = walked; traveled the path to Bethlehem; Luke 10:30 lets us know any journey of that time was potentially dangerous, especially for two unescorted women.

3. "Until they came to Bethlehem" = they continued their journey until they arrived at their destination ‑‑Bethlehem- Judah.

4. "It came to pass" = indicates there was time involved in making the journey from Moab to Bethlehem, even though the distance was only about 35 miles.

5. "When they were come to Bethlehem" = when they arrived.

6. "All the city" = all the people of Bethlehem.

7. "Was moved" = stirred; to make an uproar; agitate greatly.

8. "About them" = gathered around the two no doubt asking many questions of which only one is recorded‑‑"Is this Naomi?" = she was recognized after 10 years even though she no doubt was greatly altered in appearance due to age and to being travel‑worn and weary, plus the heavy grief of the loss of her husband and two sons had changed her appearance.

 

V. 20

1. "She" = "me" = Naomi.

2. "Them" = the people of the city of Bethlehem who had gathered around; the Hebrew seems to indicate that these were the women of the city who possibly came out of curiosity.

3. "Call me not Naomi" = name means pleasant, of which she wasn't.

4. "Call me Mara" = name means bitter‑‑mournful; distressing; expressive of misery of which she was experiencing; this due to the loss of her husband and two sons.

5. "For" = introduces her reason for her request to call her Mara.

6. "The Almighty" = name for God which means "all‑sufficient" or "all powerful."

7. "The Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me" = she ascribed all the embittering element of things to God, while much of the bitterness of her lot may have been attributed to her husband or to herself, and perhaps to forefathers and foremothers; she was just reaping what she had sown (Gal. 6:7‑9); also Naomi could be recognizing that the tragedies of her life were not accidents but that the hand of God had been in control in the loss of each of them; God is the Almighty, the One who controls all the circumstances of life; He is not powerless in the presence of evil, but remains the sovereign God, who can make all things work together for the good of His children, although Naomi did not rise above the feeling of grief as she arrived at Bethlehem, her recognition that God is almighty offered a ray of hope.

 

V. 21

1. "I" = "me" = Naomi.

2. "Went out" = left Bethlehem‑‑the house of bread.

3. "Full" = be full of; it is interesting  to note that they left Bethlehem thinking they were in destitute of bread (food) or thinking they were empty; but now she says I went out full, thinking of her husband and two sons; it is so easy to forget God's goodness in filling us with loved ones and health and think we are destitute.

4. "LORD" = Jehovah; the self‑existent One; Jesus of the NT.

5. "Brought me home again empty" = she had been emptied of the most precious things in life‑‑her mate and children; she attributed her circumstances to the action of Jehovah; it is true that He has the keys of death (Rev. 1:18) but our actions can cause the key of death to be exercised before the intended time; therefore, we do not need to blame God for our calamities.

6. "Why then call ye (the women of the city of Bethlehem who had gathered around Naomi) me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me" = this phrase is commonly applied to a person who gives witness concerning (usually against) another in a court of justice; Naomi in bitterness of her spirit is saying that the Lord Himself was turned against her, and was bringing her sins up for judgment.

7. "The Almighty" = all sufficient, all powerful God.

8. "Afflicted" = brought suffering and grief upon‑‑due to the loss of her husband and children.

 

V. 22

1. "So" = introduces the writer repeating the fact of their returning‑‑a summary of chapter 1 with an important addition to the setting for the events to follow.

3. "Ruth the Moabitess" = "her (Naomi's) daughter‑in‑law" = Ruth from the country of Moab who married Mahlon the son of Naomi, thus becoming her daughter‑in‑law.

4. "Returned" = has the idea of returning to a starting point; with Naomi it meant she came back to Bethlehem from where she had left; with Ruth, she had never been there before but she had made such commitment to Naomi and identified with her, that it is as if she is also returning to her people.

5. "They" = Naomi and Ruth.

6. "Came" = arrived.

7. "Bethlehem" = city in Judah which means the house of bread.

8. "Beginning of barley harvest" = commencement of reaping barley; barley ripened before wheat and began to be reaped sometimes as early as March, but generally in April; by the time that the barley harvest was finished the wheat crop would be ready for the sickle; the famine was over and probably had been for several years but still the beginning of harvest was a good time to return home; the fields of Bethlehem were now fully ripened and ready for harvest.

 

CHAPTER 2:

 

      4. The Gleanings of Grace. V. 1‑3a

V. 1

1. "And" = introduces the remaining narrative of what the writer has to say.

2. "Naomi" = a widow who had lost her husband and two sons in Moab but now she is back in Bethlehem.

3. "Kinsman" = an acquaintance; one's near relation; word can mean friend or relative; the context makes it clear that Boaz is a relative of Elimelech; this is not the same Hebrew word as the word translated "kinsman" in the rest of the book of Ruth; this word here is not as strong a word as the rest found in Ruth.

4. "Mighty man of wealth" = this same phrase is translated several times in the OT (Josh. 1:14 is one instance) as "mighty men of valour;" thus Boaz is a man of valour as well as wealth; no doubt translated "wealth" here because of the amount of property he owned; from this word we conclude that Boaz was a man who met his responsibility and had character.

5. "Boaz" = name means strength is in him.

6. This verse reveals just how much grace was neglected by Naomi and Elimelech when they left Bethlehem.  Why did they go to Moab instead of coming to their wealthy kinsman?  What foolishness it is in the hour of weakness to forget the friend that is strong.  Maybe it was due to the spirit of independence and self‑will that kept Elimelech and Naomi from asking help from Boaz.  It may have been pride‑‑just too proud to beg.  But now we see Ruth is not too proud.

 

V. 2

1. "Ruth the Moabitess" = "me" = "I" = "her" = "daughter" = the daughter‑in‑law of Naomi who came from the country of Moab.

2. "Naomi" = "she" = Ruth's mother‑in‑law.

3. "Let me now go to the field and glean" = Ruth desired and was willing to take advantage of an Israelitish privilege given to the poor‑‑privilege of gleaning after the reapers in the harvest‑fields. (Lev. 19:9‑10, 23:22, Deut. 24:19) Such gleaning was a humiliation to those who had been accustomed to give rather than to get; Ruth is asking Naomi permission to go glean.

4. "Glean" = to pick up; to gather stalks and ears (heads) of grain which reapers leave behind them.

5. "Ears of corn" = an ear of grain; "corn" is used as a generic word for all types of grain‑‑even corn as we know it; this refers to barley in this verse because Ruth 1:22 says they came back to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest and Ruth 2:23 says she gleaned to the end of barley harvest and then through the wheat harvest. (Note: John 12:24)

6. "After him in whose sight I shall find grace" = she does not know of Boaz at this point; the writer's use of Boaz's name in verse 1 is just to fill us in with information;  she was just asking her mother‑in‑law for permission to go glean and be guided by the providence of God into someone's field that would show her grace (kindness; undeserved favor) for she is a nobody, a Moabitess, and poor‑‑no doubt there were many land owners in Israel who would not take too kindly to a poor Moabitess widow, no matter what the law of God said.

7. Ruth is looking for grace, not neglecting it; therefore, we can call her a seeker.  She was not ashamed to take her place among the poor and glean barley, which was used for bread for the poor.  She is a type of a lost sinner who needs to take their place with the poor (Mat. 5:3) as an earnest seeker of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Bread of Life. (Deut. 4:29; Pro. 8:17; Jer. 29:13; Mat. 7:7; Acts 17:27)

8. Those who are ashamed of the truth of God's Word are those who do not know its sacred worth. One thing for sure the Devil knows its worth. (Luke 8:12)

9. Some say no man seeks God quoting Rom. 3:11.  That's true for a natural man that has not yet been awakened, but when the precious Holy Spirit awakens you, you will begin to seek.

10. Many would be glad to get the grain of the heavenly Bethlehem for their souls but they are ashamed to appear as a gleaner or seeker‑‑ashamed to admit they need grace.  So rather than seek, they starve spiritually.  If a person is really concerned about their soul, they will not need to be compelled to search the Scriptures; they will desire to search.  Failure to do so is to neglect grace.

11. "And she said unto her, Go, my daughter" = Naomi gives Ruth permission to leave the house and to go glean.

 

V. 3 

1. "She" = "her" = Ruth.

2. "Went and came" = left the house and arrived in a certain field.

3. "Gleaned" = to pick up; to gather stalks and ears (heads) of grain which the reapers leave behind them.

4. "After" = behind; place where the crop was already harvested.

5. "Reapers" = those who cut grain with a sickle probably tying several stalks in a bundle so they could be carried to the threshing floor.

6. Ruth knew where to glean, after the reapers, the most likely place to find grain.  An earnest seeker is most likely to find a needed blessing by following the ministry of those who are reapers, those who know what to bring in and what to leave out, those who preach and practice truth and rightly divide the Word.  It may seem like there is not a lot of reaping in those ministries but they'll reap at harvest time (Isa. 55:11; Eccl. 11:1)

 

      5. The guiding of grace. V. 3b‑7.

7. "Hap" = something met with; that which comes suddenly or unexpectedly; reveals the providence of God as the rest of this verse reveals = "Her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech." (Psa. 37:23; Rom. 8:28; 9:23)

8. "To light on" = to settle in; refers to Ruth settling in behind the reapers in a certain part of the field.

9. "Part of the field" = property belonging to another person was not necessarily separated by walls or a hedge or a fence but only by a furrow and by a pile of stones to mark the corners of the boundaries--called a landmark. (Deut. 19:14)

10. Some would say this was luck or just an accident that Ruth started gleaning in Boaz's part of the field. No. No. No!  Ruth made a choice at the border of Moab to go with Naomi and her God.  She obeyed the light she had and the Lord is controlling her life. (Phil 1:6)  That's the guiding of grace.

11. Many seekers say they happened to turn to a certain Scripture which they saw for the first time.  No, that did not just happen!  That's the guiding of grace.

12. Ever hear someone say I just "happened" upon such and such, or what luck I had.  No, that is the guiding of grace.

13. Ever turn on the radio, trying to find a good station and just happen upon a message or song that blessed you.  That is the guiding of grace.

14. Ruth obeyed light and look who she is going to meet.

 

V. 4

1. "Behold" = a word that reveals the providence of God working in Boaz's life, as well as Ruth's‑‑the guiding of grace; a word that grabs the reader's attention and highlights the seeming coincidence of both Ruth and Boaz being at the same place at approximately the same time.

2. "Boaz" = "him" = "thee" = the owner of the field Ruth was gleaning in.

3. "Came from Bethlehem" = arrived in the field after traveling from the city of Bethlehem where his home was located.

4. "Reapers" = "you" = "they" = those who cut grain with a sickle, probably tying several stalks in a bundle so they could be carried to the threshing floor.

5. "The LORD be with you" = Boaz's greeting to the laborers working in his field; such greeting was common courtesy of a proprietor to their laborers of that day and time; Boaz is saying, "may the laborers be blest by the Lord's presence with them."

6. "The LORD bless thee" = the laborer's greeting to Boaz; such greeting was common courtesy of the laborers to the proprietor of that day and time; they were saying, "may Boaz be blessed (benefited; be made successful) by the Lord;" if their boss was successful, they in turn would benefit from it.

 

V. 5

1. "Then" = after he had spoken his greeting.

2. "Said Boaz" = Boaz spoke.

3. "His servant set over the reapers" = the laborer Boaz had put in charge of the other laborers; such a person might be called a foreman in today's economy.

4. "Whose damsel is this?" = to whom does she belong? = this is the question he put to the overseer; notice it is not "who is this damsel?" but "whose" = something about her caught his attention and caused him to wonder if she could belong to any of the families in Bethlehem; that which caught his attention may have been:

A. Her beautiful countenance.

B. Her zeal in gleaning was not the gait of an ordinary pauper or gleaner.

C. How she carried and dressed herself‑‑graceful and modest.

5. "Damsel" = a young woman.

 

V. 6

1. "The servant that was set over the reapers" = the overseer; the one Boaz put in charge; foreman of our day.

2. "Answered" = to answer Boaz's question, which he did in great detail in verses 6‑7.

3. He identified her origin: "Moabitish damsel--a young woman from the country of Moab."

4. He identified her association with Naomi: "the damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab."

 

V. 7

1. He explained how courteously she sought permission to glean: "I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves."

2. "She" = "I" = "me" = Ruth the Moabitess now gleaning in the fields near Bethlehem.

3. "You" = the overseer; the servant in charge of the reapers.

4."Pray" = word of entreaty; has the idea of begging for permission to glean, even though the law gave her permission to glean even though she was a stranger.

5. "Glean" = to pick up; to gather stalks and ears (heads) of grain which reapers leave behind them.

6. "Gather" = similar to "glean" but has the idea to bring together that which has been gleaned or picked up; means to collect a number of separate things into one place or into one aggregate body.

7. "After the reapers" = behind the harvesters.

8. "Among the sheaves" = goes with "gather" and the Hebrew expresses this means to "gather in bundles" what she gleaned; a request to gather among the actual sheaves of the reapers would have been too bold on Ruth's part; plus we find Boaz afterwards giving instructions to the young men to allow her, without molestation, to glean "even among the sheaves." (verse 15)

9. The overseer described her hard work: "she came and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little while in the house."

10. "She came" = she went right to gleaning as soon as she had permission.

11. "Continued" = remained in the field; implies Ruth had been hard at work ever since morning.

12. "Morning" = dawn; break of day.

13. "Until now" = until this time, probably getting close to noon for the mealtime occurs soon after this. (verse 14)

14. "That she tarried a little in the house" = a phrase that indicates she worked hard since dawn except for a short break in the house.

15. "House" = the shed, booth, hut, or tent erected in the harvest field where the laborers took their meals and were sheltered from the sun in the heat of the day; also this was a place of accommodation of the master when he was visiting by day, or exercising supervision by night.

16. In this verse we not only see the character of Ruth but we see the character of the overseer‑‑for he seemed to know each worker (even the gleaners) personally.

 

      6. Gifts of Grace. V. 8‑12

            1) Privilege. V. 8

V. 8

1. "Then" = after Boaz's conversation with his overseer, and having given some instructions to his reapers (verse 9) and likewise to the young women who bound the reaped grain into sheaves or bundles; then he moved to the place where Ruth was gleaning; no doubt she was keeping modestly far in the rear.

2. "Boaz" = "my" = the owner of the field.

3. "Ruth" = "thou" = the Moabitess now gleaning in Boaz's fields.

4. "Hearest thou not, my daughter?" = this is a serious way of drawing special attention to what is about to follow; "my daughter" is a fatherly expression, appropriate on the part of a elderly person when addressing a young woman.

5.  "Go not to glean in another field" = pointing, no doubt, as he spoke, to a parcel of adjoining field belonging to a neighbor proprietor, thus showing her plainly the boundary of his property.

6. "Neither go from hence" = do not go from this place; intended to direct Ruth to a particular place, by pointing to a place right behind the sheaf‑binders.

7. "But" = shows the contrast between going and staying.

8. "Abide here by my maidens" = stay close to my young women laborers; her nearness to them would be for her benefit‑‑give her security.

9. The law allowed her to glean (Lev. 19:9‑10) but only grace would say "abide here." That it a privilege‑‑gift of grace.

10. If you are seeking, stay close to those who understand and stay away from that other crowd who will try to pull you out of Boaz's field.

11. Grace brought to Ruth far above what she could ask or think‑‑that's privilege.

 

            2) Protection V. 9a

V. 9

1. "Thine" = "thou" = Ruth.

2. "They" = "young men" = reapers.

3. "Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap" = added instruction that would keep her in the right field; also there is an admonition here for you to keep your eyes upon those who know grain from chaff‑‑that is the reapers.

4. "Go thou after them" = refers to the maidens who he had told Ruth to abide by in verse 8.

5. "I" = Boaz.

6. "Charged" = instructed; ordered; commanded.

7. "They shall not touch thee" = means they are not to punish you for gleaning with the maidens; they were not to lay a hand upon Ruth whether it be for punishment or to fulfil their lust in an immoral way; this is protection‑‑gift of grace.

            3) Provision. V. 9b‑10

8. "Athrist" = thirsty for a drink of water.

9. "Vessels" = water pots the maidens would carry upon their heads to the house from the well by the gate of Bethlehem. (II Sam. 23:14‑15)

10. "Which the young men have drawn" = to bale up water, probably with a rope without a pulley that we think about today.

11. "Drink of that" = Boaz is telling Ruth, a stranger, a nobody, a Moabitess widow, a poor gleaner to drink of the same water that the reapers drink of; gleaners did not usually get the freedom to drink the water that took labor of the reapers to draw and labor of the maidens to carry it the long distance to the field.

12. Ruth experiences the gift of grace in having provisions. (Isa. 55:1)

 

V. 10

1. "Then" = immediately after Boaz had told her of these gifts of grace.

2. "She" = "her" = "herself" = "I" = "me" = Ruth.

3. "Him" = "thine" = "thou" = Boaz.

4. "Fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground" = this is an act of respectful obeisance‑‑act of reverence made by an inclination of the body and in this case her face touched the ground; the effect of the grace she had just received from Boaz did not make her self‑confident or boastful, instead she became humbled and bowed.

5. "Why have I found grace in thine eyes?" = the question Ruth asked Boaz as she lay prostrate at his feet; she, no doubt, was surprised, amazed, and bewildered at what Boaz told her.

6. "Grace" = kindness; undeserved favor.

7. "Take knowledge" = take notice; Boaz had done far more than take notice of Ruth.

8. "Stranger" = a foreigner; one who belongs to another country; implies she is a Moabitess, a nobody.

9. Notice, she asked the question. "Why?" Answer! Just Grace, Grace, Grace.

 

            4) Peace. V. 11‑12

V. 11

1. "Boaz" = "me" = the kindred of Elimelech in whose fields Ruth was gleaning.

2. "Her" = "thou" = "thy" = "thine" = Ruth the Moabitess.

3. "Answered and said" = begin to speak.

4. "It hath been fully shewed me" = may refer to the information which he had received from his overseer; also he may have heard in Bethlehem, of this loyal, faithful woman from Moab, a woman who had caringly ministered to her mother‑in‑law.

5. "Land of thy nativity" = Moab, thy native country.

6. "Come unto a people" = refers to the children of Israel, especially those of the tribe of Judah in Bethlehem.

7. "Heretofore" = an expression which means "yesterday and the day before;" a way of representing time past.

8. Ruth's heart is comforted with assurance that he knows all about her and still he is gracious to her.

9. There is comfort to a seeker when he gets honest and knows our Lord knows all about him and at the same time is gracious. (Rom. 5:8)

 

V. 12

1. "The LORD" = the self‑existent One; the Lord Jesus of the NT.

2. "Recompense" = to compensate; to repay.

3. "Full reward" = wages.

4. "Under whose wings thou art come to trust" = a phrase borrowed from a hen, which, with her clucking, summons together her straggling chickens, and then outstretchs the fan of her wings to cover them; used of the Lord in Psa. 91:1‑4.

5. "Trust" = to confide in, to flee to for protection; to take refuge; implies saving faith.

6. Ruth is comforted with the assurance that Boaz understood her and had compassion for her.

7. Ruth is in a good place, yet not married to Boaz, but well on the way.

8. If you make the right choice and be an earnest seeker you may not be saved, but you are well on your way.

9. Our heavenly Boaz, the Lord Jesus gives all things to those who trust Him. And that is grace‑‑undeserved favor.

 

      7. Acknowledgment of Grace. V. 13

 

V. 13

1. "Then" = after Boaz was done speaking to Ruth.

2. "She" = "me" = "my" = first "thine" = "I" = Ruth.

3. "Thy" = "thou" = second "thine" = Boaz.

4. "Let me find favour in thy sight" = allow me to find grace in thy presence.

5. "My lord " = a title of respect; equivalent to "sir."

6. "Thou hast comforted me" = to strengthen and encourage.

7. "Friendly" = a word which refers to the heart; Ruth was saying to Boaz, "You have spoken to my heart."

8. "Handmaid" = "handmaidens" = a female slave; female laborer; in Ruth's estimation it would be a most desirable condition just to be a laborer in Boaz's field.

9. Ruth had a desire for him for the right reason. Her heart was stirred, not her flesh over his wealth, good looks, and the possibility of a husband.

10. A sinner's heart must be stirred, not just his flesh, and that takes the work of Holy Ghost reproval to see self, sin, and the Saviour. (John 16:8‑11)

 

      8. Advantage of Grace. V. 14‑16

V 14.

1. "Boaz" = "he" = owner of the field where Ruth gleaned, and also a kindred of Elimelech.

2. "Said" = to speak; it seems that these words were spoken after verses 11‑13 when Boaz made extra effort to contact Ruth again while she gleaned, just before the noon meal.

3. "Her" = "thou" = "thy" = "she" = Ruth.

4. "Mealtime" = probably the meal around noon; this indicates the conversation between Ruth and Boaz in verses 11‑13 occurred in the morning.

5. "Come thou hither" = an invitation to join him at his noon meal.

6. "Eat the bread" = his bread on his table.

7. "Dip thy morsel in the vinegar" = it was and still is the common custom in the East to dip a morsel (a small piece of food; bread in this case) in a bowl that contained a sop (broth or dip that consisted of a variety of herbs and spices with the main ingredient being vinegar). Mat. 26:23

8. "And " = she took him up on his offer.

9. "She sat beside the reapers" = probably along with the other young women who were Boaz's laborers.

10. "Parched corn" = corn is a generic word for grain‑‑in this case barley; heads were tied into small parcels and a blazing fire was kindled with dry grass and thorn bushes and the heads of grain were held in the fire until the chaff was mostly burnt off and in doing this the grain was roasted or parched sufficiently to be eaten; another way this could have been done was in a pan held over a fire.

11. "Reached" = to handout; notice Boaz gave to Ruth parched corn by his own hand, not by hands of others; the Lord uses human instruments to give you truth but He must quicken it to you; therefore, He gives you first hand the truths of His Word.

12. "She did eat" = she partook of what Boaz gave her; she was willing to take the hand full and as a result she wound up with the granary in Chapter 4.

13. "Was sufficed" = filled to satisfaction.

14. "Left" = this word in English would mean she left the place where Boaz was‑‑she probably did and went back into the fields to glean the rest of the day; but this word in Hebrew means to exceed; left over; to have some remaining, after she was full, which she put in her apron or basket and carried it home to her mother‑in‑law; verse 18 makes this very clear.

 

V. 15

1. "When she was risen up to glean" = when she got up from the table and started to go back into the field.

2. "She" = "her" = Ruth.

3. "Boaz" = "his" = the propietor of the field where Ruth was gleaning.

4. "Glean" = to pick up; to gather stalks and ears (heads) of grain which reapers left behind them.

5. "Commanded" = to order; this was probably done in the ear shot of Ruth so that she might feel free to take advantage, without any fear of reproach, of the privilege Boaz was giving her.

6. "Young men" = reapers.

7. "Let" = allow.

8. "Even among the sheaves" = refers to the space between the sheaves (a quantity of stalks of barley or wheat bound together in a bundle); this space was where the maidens brought their armfuls and where they bound them into sheaves; in that space would be the greatest number of heads to glean; this space would probably be off limits to gleaners but this is not the case with Ruth.

9. "Reproach" = to charge with something wrong or disgraceful; negated by "not."

 

V. 16

1. "Let" = allow.

2. "Fall" = to pull out; draw out.

3. "Also" = do this as well as allow her to glean among the sheaves.

4. "Handfuls of purpose" = the act of deliberate drawing out heads of grain and dropping (leave them) on the ground so Ruth could pick them up (glean); when the sheaf‑makers had gathered an armful of stalks, and there seemed to be a clean sweep and none were left behind; thus, Boaz said reach in your armful and pull out a few stalks and let them fall to the ground on purpose so Ruth can pick them up; what grace!

5. "Rebuke her not" = do not chide her; do not blame her or scold her when she picks them up.

 

      9. Adequacy of Grace. V. 17‑18

V. 17

1. "So" = introduces what took place in the narrative the rest of the day.

2. "She" = Ruth.

3. "Gleaned" = picked up the grain.

4. "Even" = dusk; Ruth stayed busy all day in the field gleaning.

5. "Beat out" = to thresh with a suitable rod or simple flail which she had either brought with her in the morning as part of her equipment as a gleaner or had obtained at Boaz's house in the field; or perhaps like many other gleaners she made use of a convenient stone; whatever she used she condensed the volume of her gleanings down to about an ephah of barley.

6. "Ephah" = a Hebrew measurement of grain; there is some disagreement as to how much this equals in our measurements today; some say it is just under a bushel and others say it is just over a bushel; so we may say it equals about a bushel give or take a little; either way it was a considerable amount for a gleaner to glean and beat out in one day; this is believed to be enough to feed two people for five days.

7. "Of barley" = barley grain threshed from the heads and handfuls left behind on purpose; used to make bread for the poor.

 

V. 18

1. "She" = first "her" = Ruth.

2.  "Took it up" = lifted up the container the barley was in and probably placed it on her head to carry it back home as that was the custom of the day.

3. "Went into the city" = arrived at the house in Bethlehem where she and Naomi were living.

4. "Her mother in law" = second "her" = Naomi.

5. "Saw" = took notice with gratitude and wonder at the above average amount of grain gleaned in one day.

6. "Gave" = to hand over; not only the ephah she had gleaned but "that she had reserved after she was sufficed" = she held nothing back from Naomi, handing over even the parched grain she had received from the hand of Boaz (verse 14) she may have put the grain left over in her apron pocket after she was sufficed‑‑filled to satisfaction.

7. When we glean in the field among the thoughts of God we are apt to gather the chaff and straw of the foolish thoughts of our own evil hearts.  But if we compare Scripture with Scripture, then the truth of God will be clearly beaten out and we will find grace adequate.

 

      10. Alliance with Grace. V. 19‑20

V. 19

1. "Her" = "thou" = "thee" = "she" = "I" = Ruth.

2. "Mother in law" = Naomi who speaks first in this verse.

3. "Where hast thou gleaned today? and where wroughtest thou?" = she saw at a glance, from the quantity of grain brought home, from the bright and beaming countenance of her daughter‑in‑law, and from the delicious parched corn which the master had given with his own hands, that the day had been crowned with peculiar blessings.

4. "Gleaned" = to pick up heads of grain left behind by the reapers.

5. "Wroughtest" = "wrought" = worked; labored.

6. "Blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee" = Naomi is basically saying may benefits be bestowed upon the person that became acquainted and showed favor (knowledge) to you; at this point Naomi did not know the man's name in whose fields Ruth had gleaned.

7. "Shewed" = to announce by word of mouth by saying, "The man's name with whom I wrought today is Boaz" = no doubt Naomi's heart was thrilled as the once familiar name fell upon her ears.

 

V. 20

1. "Naomi" = first "her" = Ruth's mother in law.

2. "Daughter in law" = second "her" = Ruth.

3. "He" = "who" = "his" = "the man" = Boaz.

4. "Blessed be he of the LORD" = Naomi's response reveals her recognition of the providence of the Lord and she pronounced a blessing upon him a second time.

5. "LORD" = Jehovah, the self‑existent One; Jesus in the OT.

6. "Who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead" = this is referring to Boaz who had showed kindness (act of good will and benevolence) by making extra grain available to be gleaned (picked up) to the living‑‑Ruth and Naomi, and toward the dead (deceased)‑‑Elimelech and his sons.

7. "Near of kin unto us" = one's near relation; refers to a relative of Elimelech.

8. "Us" = "our" = refers to Naomi and Ruth.

9. "One of our next kinsmen" = this phrase is added by Naomi to let Ruth know that Boaz is one who could be their kinsman redeemer.

10. The kinsman‑redeemer, under Levitical law had a right to:

A. Preserve the family line by marrying the widow of the deceased‑‑Ruth, in this instance. (Deut. 25:5‑10; if there were no brothers then the next of kin was to fulfill this requirement.)

B. Redeem the land of a person who had sold it or lost it by whatever reason. (Lev. 25:25)  This was so the land would stay in the same tribe as assigned by Joshua.

C. Avenge the death of a murdered relative. (Num. 35:19; this does not apply in the case of Ruth.)

D. Buy back a family member who had been sold as a slave. (Lev. 25:47‑49); this does not apply in the case of Ruth.

E. Look after needy and helpless members of the family. (Lev. 25:35)

11. For one to qualify as a kinsmen redeemer, three qualifications had to be met:

A. Must be near kinsman.

B. Must be able to redeem.

C. Must be willing to redeem.

12. Ruth was connected to the right person‑‑Boaz.  That's grace!

13. Jesus met all three qualifications as our Kinsman‑Redeemer and He wants you to glean in His fields of grace.  And when we do we will have an alliance with grace.

 

      11. Abiding in Grace. V. 21‑23

V. 21

1. "Ruth" = "me" = "thou" = "the Moabitiess" = the repetition of this term lets us see the sovereignty of God in the affairs of men as Ruth is loaded with blessings even though she is a foreign widow.

2. "He" = "my" = Boaz.

3. "Keep fast by" = keep close to.

4. "Young men" = "they" = the reapers; it was understood that she should work behind the young women, who followed in the rear of the young men probably binding the crop into sheaves. (verse 8)

5. "Until they have ended all my harvest" = it was the express desire of Boaz that, instead of exposing herself among strangers by being in an adjoining harvest‑field, she should maintain her position behind his reapers as long as there remained any golden crops to reap‑‑this included, not only barley, but wheat as well.

 

V. 22

1. "Naomi" = "her" = "my" = Ruth's mother‑in‑law.

2. "Ruth" = "daughter in law" = "thou" = "thee" = Naomi's daughter‑in‑law.

3. "It is good" = refers to a good thing.

4. "My daughter" = Naomi's use of this instead of daughter‑in‑law reveals a closeness she had to Ruth; also perhaps the increasing awareness of the implications of the kinsman redeemer was in her mind so much here that she considers Ruth more completely a part of the family.

5. "Go out with his maidens" = continue to glean behind the young women laborers of Boaz as he had instructed her to do. (verse 8)

6. "They" = she no doubt refers to the reapers, binders, gleaners, and other workers who might have to be encountered in another field; she probably refers to some lewd and lustful men whom Naomi would not so much as make mention of.

7. "Meet" = to fall upon; implies to attack; the use of this Hebrew word clearly indicates that Naomi was referring to lewd and lustful men who would not be near as kind to Ruth as Boaz was; thus, she says to stay with Boaz's maidens so there would not be a chance of an attack like it might in some other field‑‑that not belonging to Boaz.

 

V. 23

1. "So" = introduces the writer's narrative of Ruth's action after the conversation she had with Naomi after her first day of gleaning.

2. "She" = "her" = Ruth.

3. "Kept fast" = stayed close and kept gleaning day after day.

4. "Maidens of Boaz" = the young women laborers in Boaz's work force.

5. "Glean" = to pick up ears of grain left behind by the reapers and binders.

6. "Unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest" = she stayed put day after day after day and the gleaning got better‑‑wheat made better flour than barley.

7. "Dwelt with her mother in law" = spent the nights with Naomi; there is no evidence whatever that Ruth slept anywhere else than under her mother‑in‑law's roof; this clause was written for the very purpose of bringing out clearly before the mind of the reader Ruth's stainless innocence, and her never‑tiring devotion to her mother‑in‑law.

8. Application: Stay put in the fields of truth preached and practiced‑‑that is abiding in grace.

9. When there is no harvest and the days get long and seemly no one cares, what do I do?  Just live off the grain already gleaned. (Psa. 130:5)  Live off what you have already been shown.  You may ask, what is God doing?  Like Boaz, he was waiting until Ruth got to the place she wanted him more than anything or anyone else and that for the right reason.  Until then he could do nothing else but wait on her. (Isa. 30:18) In that sense He waits, yet while He is waiting he is working. (John 6:44)

 

CHAPTER 3:

 

      12. Revelation of grace. V. 1‑2

V. 1

1. "Then" = allows for a period of time (a few days at least) to pass between the conversation of Ruth 1:19‑22 and the event that occurs in this chapter.

2. "Naomi" = "her Mother in law" = "I" = Ruth's mother‑in‑law.

3. "Her" = "thee" = Ruth.

4. "My daughter" = term of endearment; reveals the closeness she had to Ruth.

5. "Seek" = to search out; more than just a desire.

6. "Rest" = implies peace, security, and lack of persistent anxiety over the future; means a home; this can only be found in the house of a husband; applies to a seeker only finding rest by being married to Jesus‑‑that is what salvation is, a marriage to Jesus.

7. "That" = introduces the reason she wanted Ruth to have rest‑‑"It may be well with thee" = that which is happy, successful, and right.

8. Naomi is the human instrumentality who is placed in Ruth's path to help her find rest.  That is God's way‑‑human instrumentality. (Rom. 10:13‑15; I Cor. 3:5)

 

V. 2

1. "Now" = at this present time.

2. "Is not Boaz of our kindred" = Naomi opens her case; she had been studying Boaz all through the harvest season; she had been studying Ruth too; she saw unmistakable evidence of mutual responsiveness and attachment.

3. "Kindred" = relative.

4. "With whose maidens thou wast" = Naomi states that Ruth had stayed with the young women laborers of Boaz all of the harvest season.

5. "Behold" = a word used to cause the listener to pay careful attention to what was about to be said.

6. "He" = Boaz.

7. "Winnoweth" = to separate and drive off the chaff from the grain by means of wind; to separate, as the bad from the good; means to throw up against the wind the mingled mass that was on Boaz's threshing floor after the stalks had been carefully trodden or beaten (threshed out); a three pronged wooden fork with a handle three or four feet long was used for this purpose; the wind blew the chaff and broken straw aside while the grain fell to the ground.

8. "Barley" = barley was harvested first and wheat next; it appears that both the barley and wheat were harvested and then the barley sheaves were carried to the threshing floor while the sheaves of wheat stayed in the field until the barley was threshed.

9. "To night" = the Hebrew construction means in the wind which blows by night; the land owner in Palestine would carry on his winnowing operations after sunset, taking advantage of the evening breeze that then blew.

10. "Threshingfloor" = an open, flat area with a floor of hardened earth or smooth stone where grain could be beaten, trampled, and separated from the chaff by tossing it into the air; the area had to be high ground because wind flow was important.

11. Ruth had heard about Boaz being a relative before but now it seems to click‑‑she understands for we see her doing exactly what Naomi told her to do.

 

V. 3

1. "Wash thyself" = clean yourself; refers to the physical.

2. "Anoint thee" = to smear over with oil where the skin would be smooth and attractive.

3. "Put thy raiment upon thee" = involved taking off her widow's garment and put on a wedding garment.

4. "Get thee down to the floor" = Bethlehem was on a higher elevation than the barley and wheat fields in the valleys below, therefore get down‑‑to descend.

5. "The man" = "he" = Boaz.

6. "Thyself" = "thee" = Ruth.

7. "Make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking" = Naomi's instruction was for Ruth not to reveal her identity to Boaz while he was busy winnowing barley, while the breeze was favorable, nor while he was partaking of his evening meal; this suggests that Naomi did not want Boaz to mistake her daughter‑in‑law's motive.

 

V. 4

1. "He" = "his" = Boaz.

2. "Thou" = "thee" = Ruth.

3. "And it shall be, when he lieth down" = when he takes his mat and lays down upon it for a night's sleep.

4. "That thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie" = means take knowledge where he lays down to sleep; no doubt the night was dark and what little light they (Boaz and his laborers with him on the threshing floor) had were put out; therefore, if Ruth did not take notice where Boaz fixed his mat for the night, she might have layed down at the feet of the wrong person.

5. "And thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down" = this simply means to go in and lay down at his feet which indicates submission; there is nothing immoral or loose about this.

6. Notice what Naomi told her after these previous instuctions, "And he will tell thee what thou shalt do" = business is about to pick up for Ruth when he begins to tell her what to do; this is the place every sinner needs to get to‑‑place where the Lord begins to talk personally to them for that brings faith. (Rom. 10:17)

 

V. 5

1. "She" = "me" = "I" = Ruth.

2. "Her" = "thou" = Naomi.

3. "All that thou sayest unto me I will do" = everything you have told me to do I will do; I will obey your words of instruction.

 

V. 6

1. "She" = "her" = Ruth.

2. "Went down" = to descend; Bethlehem is at a higher elevation than the fields where the grain was grown and where the threshing floor was.

3. "Floor" = threshing floor; an open flat area with a floor of hardened earth or smooth stone where grain could be beaten, trampled, or threshed and then separated from the chaff by tossing it into the air.

4. "Did" = carried out the instructions her human instrument gave her.

5. "Her mother in law" = Naomi.

6. "Bade" = to ask; to request; to direct.

7. Her action reveals submission to grace.

 

      14. Resting in Grace. V. 7‑18

V. 7

1. "And when Boaz had eaten and drunk" = there is no suggestion in this text of excessive drinking or drunkenness; Ruth waited until Boaz had finished his meal just as Naomi had told her to do in verse 3; she probably watched from the shadows near the threshing floor until the timing was right.

2. "His" = "he" = "his" = Boaz.

3. "His heart was merry" = his heart was good or pleased; this means after the labors of the evening his heart was content with what had been accomplished that day; therefore, he ate and drank to his heart's content, enjoying with grateful spirit the bounties of the gracious providence of God in giving a full harvest.

4. "He went to lie down" = he went to sleep; the text indicates he was in a sweet sleep; where? "at the end of the heap of corn" = at the edge of the pile of barley that had been threshed out.

5. "She" = "her" = Ruth.

6. "Come softly" = quietly; secretly; covertly (privately).

7. "Uncovered his feet, and laid her down" = this corresponds exactly to what Naomi told Ruth to do in verse 4; this simply means to go in and lay down at his feet which indicates submission; there is nothing immoral or loose about this.

 

V. 8

1. "And it came to pass" = indicates there was some time involved between her laying down and his realization that she lay at his feet.

2. "At midnight" = at 12:00 AM; this may have been some two hours after he went to sleep.

3. "The man" = Boaz.

4. "A woman" = Ruth.

5. "Was afraid" = to shudder with terror; to fear.

6. "Turned himself" = bending himself up and over to see who or what was at his feet; the language of this verse lets us see that there was nothing immoral going on between Ruth and Boaz.

7. "Behold" = a word used to describe Boaz's startled mind, when he discovered "a woman lay at his feet" = he could not tell who Ruth was for it was dark at midnight.

 

V. 9

1. "He" = "thy" = "thine" = second "thou" = Boaz.

2. "Who art thou?" = before (Ruth 2:5) he had ask "Whose damsel is this?" but now he is startled and asked "Who are you?"; it seems to be implied in the text he also wanted to know what she wanted.

3. "Answered" = Ruth answered his question and also the question that seems to be implied: "I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid" = she identified herself as Ruth the Moabitess and also as Boaz's handmaid, a female servant‑‑she is yielding herself completely.

4. "Spread thy skirt" = a wing of a garment or bed clothing; the act of covering a woman with one's garment symbolized protection, caring, and taking her to himself in positive response to the marriage proposal. (Ezk. 16:8)

5. "For" = introduces the reason she made the proposal‑‑"thou art a near kinsman" = kinsman redeemer; Ruth acknowledged him for who he was and not just what he could do for her; for one to qualify as a kinsman redeemer, three qualifications had to be met:

      A. Must be near kinsman.

      B. Must be able to redeem.

      C. Must be willing to redeem.

6. Ruth knew Boaz was kin and able to redeem.  And I believe she knew in her heart he was willing to do so; therefore, she made this bold request‑‑it was a great demand for a poor stranger to make but the mighty man of grace looked upon it as an act of kindness showed Him as the next verse brings out.

 

V. 10

1. "He" = "my" = Boaz.

2. "Thou" = Ruth.

3. "Blessed" = word means may benefits be bestowed upon you "of the LORD" = means the LORD, who is the self‑existent One, Jehovah, Lord Jesus in the OT, is the source and origin of all benefits that come upon anyone.

4. "My daughter" = Boaz had addressed her this same way in Ruth 2:8; this is a fatherly expression, appropriate on the part of an elderly person when addressing a younger woman‑‑this seems to be the case with Boaz and Ruth.

5. "Shewed more" = caused to be better.

6. "Kindness" = steadfast love.

7. "Inasmuch as" = because; introduces the reason she "shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning" = "thou followest not young men, whether poor or rich."

A. Her use of the word "kinsman redeemer" was evidence to Boaz that she was thinking of the respect which she owed to her husband's memory and her concern in discharging that duty struck the heart of Boaz.

B. Her continued commitment to the family by seeking a "kinsman redeemer" would provide an heir and therefore security for Naomi.

C. There was a significant age difference between Boaz and Ruth, and Boaz recognized that it would have been natural for Ruth to seek a younger man as her husband.  But Ruth was not thinking of riches or lust (poor young man) but of her commitment to Naomi and her security in the Lord's will.

 

V. 11

1. "Now" = at this time.

2. "My daughter" = again Boaz addresses Ruth with this fatherly expression appropriate on the part of an elderly person when addressing a younger woman.

3. "Fear not" = do not be frightened; no doubt there was some uncertainty about the outcome of the situation on Ruth's part; after all she was a stranger, a nobody from Moab, a gleaner while Boaz was a mighty man of wealth. (Ruth 2:1)

4. "I will do to thee all that thou requirest" = Naomi had said Boaz would tell her what to do (verse 4) and now he tells Ruth, "I will do for you all you ask."

5. "My" = "I" = Boaz.

6. "Thee" = "thou" = Ruth.

7. "For" = because.

8. "All the city of my people" = all the people of the gate‑‑refers to all the influential people in Bethlehem who knew the character of Ruth.

9. "Know" = to have absolute knowledge; it was not hear‑say but first‑hand knowledge.

10. "Virtuous" = virtue; valor; strength; Ruth was earnest, industrious, virtuous, strong, and brave because she had character.

11. She had a good name among the people of Bethlehem even though she had not been there long because she had responsibility, work ethic, morals, stickability, dependability, faithfulness, and spirituality. (Pro. 22:1; Eccl. 7:1)

 

V. 12

1. "Now" = at this time.

2. "It is true" = Boaz acknowledges the fact that he is a kinsman redeemer; there is no reluctance in Boaz to perform the part of a kinsman redeemer‑‑he was not only kin and able to redeem, but he was also willing.

3. "Howbeit" = nevertheless; yet; however‑‑"there is a kinsman nearer than I" = Boaz explains the situation by saying there is a closer relative to Ruth's family than himself and according to Levitical law that person had the first right to redeem.

4. Law seems to be a nearer kinsman to us in type but the Lord is the only one qualified to redeem.

 

V. 13

1. "Tarry this night" = abide here on the threshing floor until morning, at which time Boaz would seek out the nearer kinsman and find out his intentions.

2. "If" = begins two hypothetical situations:

A. "If he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman" = he (the nearer kinsman) was kin but Boaz did not know whether he would be able or willing to redeem; Boaz says if he is willing then he has that Biblical right and all Boaz could answer was "well" = good or a good thing; Boaz no doubt wanted to take Ruth as his wife but his devotion to the requirements of the Scripture regarding the Kinsman Redeemer had to take precedence.

B. "If he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee" = to which Boaz made a promise to Ruth" = "then will I do the part of the kinsman to thee" = this leaves no doubt about his mind set‑‑he enthusiastically wanted to take Ruth as his wife.

3. "As the LORD liveth" = an oath commonly used for emphasis.

4. "Lie down until the morning" = this is Boaz's instruction to Ruth; Ruth had to wait and while she waited, she rested in Boaz's promise.

 

V. 14

1. "She" = Ruth.

2. "His" = "he" = Boaz.

3. "Lay at his feet until morning" = there is still nothing immoral going on here.

4. "Rose up" = got up from her place of resting on the threshing floor.

5. "Before one could know another" = means it was not light enough to see each other to tell who they were.

6. "He said" = Boaz may have spoken just to Ruth or he may have instructed all his male reapers who had probably slept on the threshing floor with Boaz‑‑"Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor" = a direct way of saying, "keep your mouth shut as to what happened here last night;" this was not said because something immoral was going on between Boaz and Ruth.

7. "Floor" = threshing floor‑‑an open, flat area with floor of hardened earth or smooth stone where grain could be beaten, trampled, and separated from the chaff by tossing it into the air.

 

V. 15

1. "Also" = seems to indicate that what he spoke in verse 14 was to Ruth.

2. "He" = Boaz.

3. "Thou" = "thee" = "she" = "her" = Ruth.

4. "Bring" = give.

5. "Vail" = a loose outer garment worn over other clothes.

6. "Hold it" = Boaz's command to Ruth to hold the sides of the garment so that he might scoop some barley (that which he had winnowed the night before) in it; she did what he said = "she held it."

7. "Measured six measures of barley" = we do not know what this measure was for certain; it may have been six double‑handed scoops of barley which would amount to what she could coveniently carry.

8. "Laid it on her" = Boaz placed the bundle on her head.

9. "She went into the city" = the Hebrew has "he went into the city, where we find him in chapter 4 tending to the business with the nearer kinsman; it is true Ruth also went into the city for her mother‑in‑law's house was in the city‑‑Bethlehem.

 

V. 16

1. "When she came" = at the time she arrived at her mother in law's house she was greeted.

2. First and third "she" = "thou" = first and third "her" = Ruth.

3. Second "she" = "my" = second "her" = mother in law" = Naomi.

4. "Who art thou, my daughter?" = this question was asked as it may not have been good daylight yet.

5. "My daughter" = a term of closeness.

6. "The man" = Boaz.

7. "Told all that the man had done to her" = the Hebrew indicates "all that the man had done for her" = referring to the promise and the benefit of six measures of barley.

 

V. 17

1. "She" = "me" = "thy" = Ruth.

2. "He" = Boaz.

3. "Mother in law" = Naomi.

4. "Empty" = this same word was used by Naomi in Ruth 1:21 in her self‑pitying wail against Jehovah; she had bemoaned her lack of sustenance and her lack of an heir; but here as Ruth speaks Naomi finds her lack of sustenance is met and by virtue of this gift it implies that her lack of an heir would also be met; the grain may be a symbolic representation of offspring; Naomi's empty days are over.

 

V. 18

1. "Then" = after the conversation between Naomi and Ruth early on the morning Ruth returned from the threshing floor.

2. "She" = "my" = Naomi.

3. "Sit still" = implies waiting without fretting‑‑some things had to be worked out while he tended to the redeeming work; what else could she do? the work was not hers but his; how long? = "until thou know how the matter will fall."

4. "My daughter" = an address of tender affection.

5. "The man" = "he" = Boaz.

6. "For" = introduces the reason why she could sit still or rest‑‑"the man will not be in rest, until he has finished the thing this day" = this is a promise given by the human instrument, Naomi, to Ruth the seeker.

7. Our heavenly Boaz will finish His work in you.  I know He has finished His work on Calvary but there is a work to be finished in you before you can be married to your heavenly Boaz, but He is faithful. (Phil. 1:6; I Thess. 5:24; Psa. 37:5)

 

 

CHAPTER 4:

 

      15. Redeemed by Grace. V. 1‑17

V. 1

1. "Then" = introduces the next act of Boaz and indicates his intent to carry out his promise to Ruth.

2. "Went Boaz up to the gate and sat him down there" = the gate was the center of community life in the Hebrew cities of old; it corresponds to the forum (place where cases were judicially tried) of Roman times; the place where significant business took place throughout the OT (I Kings 22:10; II Sam. 15:2); Boaz is there to intercede for Ruth‑‑a type of our Lord who ascended up on high and is sat down at the right hand of the Father to intercede for the lost. (Heb. 7:25)

3. "Behold" = a word that reveals the providence of God working; a word that grabs the reader's attention and highlights the seeming coincidence of both Boaz and the nearer kinsman being at the same place at the same time.

4. "The kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by" = the one Boaz told Ruth about in Ruth 3:12

5. "Ho" = a word to catch the nearer kinsman's attention.

6. "Such a one" = used by the human instrument of this book to purposely conceal the identity of this man; Boaz probably called the man by name.

7. "Turn aside, sit down here" = the words Boaz spoke to this man; "here" = means in the gate where Boaz was seated where business was transacted.

8. First "he" = Boaz.

9. Second "he" = the nearer kinsman.

10. "And he turned aside, and sat down" = he did what Boaz had asked him to do.

 

V. 2

1. "He" = Boaz.

2. "Took" = appointed; chose.

3. "Ten men" = "elders" = "ye" = "they" = it is possible that the presence of at least ten elders was necessary to make a lawful public assembly, since among modern Jews ten are necessary to constitute a synagogue; Boaz wanted to have full compliance of witnesses to the important transaction he was about to make.

4. "Elders" = experienced aged men who were traditionally respected for their wisdom which no doubt included such practical matters as legal processes; every city was governed by elders. (Deut. 19:12; Judges 8:14)

5. "Said" = to ask; to make a request; this is not a command‑‑and they did what he asked‑‑"they sat down" with Boaz in the gate.

 

V. 3

1. In the next three verses, Boaz presents his case, beginning with the matter of the land.  It is natural for us to think the marriage to Ruth should take precedence.  But the matter of the land was of utmost importance.  For:

A. The Lord declares "The land is mine." in Lev. 25:23.

B. He had the ultimate authority over it. (Isa. 43:15)

C. His people, Israel, were to possess it forever as perpetual tenants. (Deut. 19:14)

D. The land could never pass from Hebrew possession (Lev. 25:23), nor could it be transferred to a Hebrew tenant who was outside the original tenant's tribe. (Num. 27:8‑11)

E. Yet the Lord granted the right of redemption. (Lev. 25:24‑25)

F. Once redeemable, the kinsman redeemer was the only one permitted to transact such a redemption and he took the land as his very own possession.  In fact taking possession was mandatory.

G. Therefore Boaz rightly directed his attention first to the land.

2. "He" = Boaz.

3. "Said" = presents his case.

4. "The kinsman" = the kinsman redeemer who was closer kin to Elimelech than Boaz was; to qualify as a kinsman redeemer one had to meet three qualifications:

      A. Had to be kin.

      B. Had to be able to redeem.

      C. Had to be willing to redeem.

5. "Come again out of the country of Moab" = came back home to Bethlehem from Moab; it was no doubt known by most in the city that Naomi had returned home after 10 years in Moab.

6. "Selleth" = has resolved to sell; the land must have remained in the name of Elimelech and now Naomi knows that if she and Ruth are going to survive‑‑the land has to go.

7. Boaz clearly states that the land belonged to Elimelech who he identified as "our brother" = kin to both Boaz and "Such a one."

 

V. 4

1. First, second, and third "I" = "my" = "me" = Boaz; the first "I" = means "I, myself" = refers to the promise he had made Ruth in Ruth 3:13.

2. "Thou" = "thee" = fourth "I" = the nearer kinsman Boaz was speaking to in the gate.

3. "Thought to advertise thee" = literally means to uncover the ear; the phrase is explained by the act of removing the end of the turban or the hair in order to speak directly in the ear.

4. "Buy it" = it is as if he said, "Now you have a chance which may not occur again."

5. "Before" = in front of.

6. "Inhabitants" = refers to the people of Bethlehem gathered around the gate‑‑some chosen to be witnesses and others there for curiosity's sake.

7. "Elders" = the 10 chosen to be witnesses; experienced aged men who were traditionally respected for their wisdom which no doubt included such practical matters as legal processes.

8. "My people" = Israel, more specifically those of Bethlehem which are in the tribe of Judah.

9. First "redeem" = same word for a kinsman redeemer; means if thou wilt perform the part of a kinsman.

10. Second "redeem" = perform.

11. "But" = shows contrast between performing the part of kinsman redeemer concerning the land or not doing it; Boaz wanted an answer and he seemingly did not want to wait.

12. "That I may know" = that I may have your answer.

13. "There is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee" = Boaz gets right to the point and simply lays it on the line while he has the 10 witnesses gathered in the gate.

14. "And he said I will redeem it" = the nearer kinsman speaks up quickly meeting all three requirements to redeem the land.

15. Now the tension mounts as Boaz continues to present his case.

 

V. 5

1. "Then" = after the nearer kinsman was willing to redeem the land.

2. "What day" = in the day.

3. "Buyest" = "buy" = purchase; acquire.

4. "Ruth the Moabitess" = the wife of the dead" = wife of Mahlon (verse 10); to purchase of Ruth was so there would be the opportunity of retaining the possession of the property in the line of her deceased husband.

5. "To raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance" = if there should be an offspring of this marriage, the child would be heir of the property just as if he had been Mahlon's son even though the father should have other and older sons by another wife.

 

V. 6

1. "The kinsman" = "I" = "myself" = "mine" = "my" = the one nearer kin than Boaz.

2. "I cannot redeem it" = the marriage factor changed the entire matter; he said he was not able to perform the right of a kinsman redeemer as far as Ruth was concerned; the reason being, "lest I mar mine own inheritance" = there is a lot of thoughts concerning this phrase:

A. Some think that this man had a wife and children already, and to marry Ruth would introduce strife into the family.

B. Others think that there was a risk of his own name being blotted out from his inheritance.

C. And others (I am of this opinion) think the word "mar" means wasting or spending and they think this man was of slender means, therefore would have to come up with the purchase money and then support Naomi and Ruth which would deplete his inheritance saved for his children.

3. Thus he said "redeem thou my right to thyself" = means perform the act of redemption which properly belongs to me for I cannot perform it.

 

V. 7

1. "Now" = introduces explanation by the human instrument the Lord chose to pen down this book.

2. "This was the manner" = custom.

3. "In former time" = in past time; may indicate this custom was out of date or obsolete at the time this book was penned down which may have been 300 years later‑‑we do not know the exact date.

4. "Concerning" = pertaining to.

5. "Redeeming" = really refers to the right to redeem‑‑perform the right of a kinsman redeemer.

6. "Changing" = bartering; compensation.

7. "For" = introduces the "manner" or custom in Israel to "confirm all things" = to establish a transaction as being valid.

8. The custom‑‑"a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour" = a symbolical act by the man that he surrendered his right to perform his act as a kinsman redeemer; means submission and surrender; means submission and surrender to the one the shoe is given‑‑our Lord told Joshua to practice this custom in Josh. 5:15.

6. "Testimony" = attestation; official declaration.

 

V. 8

1. "Therefore" = in view of the fact of the custom spoken of in verse 7.

2. "The kinsman" = "he" = "his = the nearer kinsman than Boaz.

3. "Said" = the kinsman spoke directly to Boaz in a rather blunt manner thus ending the guessing.

4. "Buy it for thee" = perform the part of the kinsman redeemer.

5. "Thee" = Boaz.

6. "So" = introduces the kinsman fulfilling the symbolical act of surrendering his right to redeem‑‑"he drew off his shoe" = he probably handed it to Boaz who used it to make a point (verses 9‑10) to the 10 elders whom he had chosen as witnesses after which time it is believed Boaz handed the shoe back to "Such a one."

 

V. 9

1. "Boaz" = "I" = the one who has had the right of redemption transferred to him.

2. "The elders" = the 10 men chosen in verse 2.

3. "All the people" = all those of the city who had gathered around the gate to hear and see this transaction‑‑transfer of the right to redeem.

4. "Ye" =  the 10 chosen elders and all the people.

5. "Witnesses" = one who sees the execution of the transaction and attest (affirm to be true or genuine) to it for the purpose of establishing its authenticity.

6. "This day" = Boaz wanted these witnesses to make a mental note of the time of this transaction.

8. "That" = introduces what Boaz wanted the witnesses to attest to‑‑"I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi" = though not stated, it seems Naomi either personally or by representative, must have appeared on the scene to surrender her territorial rights and receive the value of the estate that had belonged to her husband; there is only one estate which was first Elimelech's and then passed on to Chilion and Mahlon at his death; when they died the estate was passed to Naomi.

 

V. 10

1. "Moreover" = and also‑‑Boaz with emphasis lets the witnesses know Ruth is included in this transaction.

2. "Ruth the Moabitess" = there is no question in the readers mind as to whom Boaz was referring to and he was not ashamed to take a nobody from Moab to be his wife; that is just like our heavenly Boaz‑‑the Lord Jesus. (Rom. 5:6,8)

3. "The wife of Mahlon" = this is the first and only time it is mentioned which one of the boys Ruth married‑‑Mahlon; thus Orpah was married to Chilion.

4. "Have I purchased to be my wife" = he paid the price willingly in performing his act of a kinsman redeemer; that's just like our Lord. (Heb. 12:2)

5. "To raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place" = Boaz planned on having a son which would be raised up in the name of Elimelech and Mahlon; thus, he spoke this to the people in the gate that day so that they might on some future day be able to say when Boaz's boy comes by, "This boy is heir of Mahlon and Elimelech, who once migrated to Moab."

6. "Ye" = the 10 chosen elders and all the people of the city assembled that day.

7. "Ye are witnesses this day" = one who sees the execution of a transaction and attests (affirm to be true or genuine) to it for the purpose of establishing its authenticity.

 

V. 11

1. "All the people that were in the gate, and the elders said" = the people of the city in general and the elders in particular (for they were chosen by Boaz to be witnesses), were pleased with every step that Boaz had taken; thus, they said, "We are witnesses" = they were glad to attest to the genuineness of the transaction that was made.

2. They (possibly only the chosen elders) said more than Boaz had requested‑‑"The LORD make the woman that come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah which two did build the house of Israel and do thou worthily in Ephratah and be famous in Bethlehem" = blessings rose up in their heart in the form of a prayer:

A. "LORD" = Jehovah; the self‑existent One who stands along with no aid from anybody or any other being in this world or out of this world; OT equivalent of the Lord Jesus who is the I AM.

B. "Make" = grant; enable.

C. "The woman" = refers to Ruth.

D. "That is come" = the transaction of marriage had just taken place and when Boaz leaves the gate Ruth will go with him as his wife; the tense means "is about to go into thine (Boaz's) house."

E. "Like Rachel and like Leah which two did build the house of Israel" = refers to the two woman who were the mothers of the 12 sons  of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel in Gen. 32 where he was saved; these 12 sons were the 12 tribes of Israel.

F. "Thine" = "thou" = Boaz.

G. "Do worthily" = do manfully; act the part of a strong, real, worthy man.

H. "Ephratah" = another name for Bethlehem.

I. "Be famous in Bethlehem" = this means to act the noble part‑‑the part that will without voice proclaim in Bethlehem its own genuine nobleness; actions speak louder than words.

J. This prayerful blessing seems to suggest that Boaz will produce many offspring and be materially secure and know fame.  Since the firstborn of their marriage would be considered the son of Mahlon under Levitical law, the elders here express their desire that Boaz and Ruth will have many heirs of their own.

 

V. 12

1. This verse continues their blessing and prayer.

2. "Thy" = "thee" = Boaz.

3. "House" = refers to offspring; a family of descendants.

4. "Pharez" = the firstborn of Tamar and Judah‑‑"whom Tamar bare unto Judah"‑‑this son is specifically named as an example of a firstborn Son from a Levitical law marriage (Gen. 38:6‑29) and interestingly enough by Tamar, who was also a foreigner but one of four sinful women named in the genealogy of Jesus in Mat. 1:3.

5. "Seed" = posterity.

6. "The LORD" = Jehovah; the Lord Jesus of the OT.

7. "Give" = refers to giving conception. (Psa. 127:3)

8. "Of this young woman" = refers to Ruth giving birth or bringing forth children.

 

V. 13

1. "So" = introduces what took place in the narrative after Boaz performed the part of a kinsman redeemer; this verse covers nine months of time and maybe a little more.

2. "Boaz" = "his" = "he" = the kinsman redeemer.

3. "Ruth" = "she" = "her" = the wife of Boaz‑‑"his wife."

4. "Took" = refers to the marriage ceremony of Boaz and Ruth, whatever it may have consisted of in those days according to the custom of the time.

5. "He went in unto her" = he consummated the marriage by the physical sex act which by the way is not immoral or dirty between husband and wife. (Heb. 13:4)

6. "When" = at the point of this intimate relationship‑‑"the LORD gave her conception."

7. "The LORD" = Jehovah; the self existent One; the Lord Jesus of the OT.

8. "Gave her conception" = she became pregnant; notice the LORD is the One who enables a woman to conceive; He is the giver of life which comes at conception. (Psa 127:3)

9. "She bare a son" = she gave birth to a son; this of course was after nine months of time had passed.

 

V. 14

1. "The women" = the women of the city which are called "her neighbors" in verse 17.

2. "Naomi" = "thee" = the mother in law of Ruth.

3. "Blessed" = an act of adoration and praise for the "LORD" = Jehovah; the self‑existent One; the Lord Jesus of the OT; notice the Lord received all the glory, not Ruth nor Boaz.

4. "Which" = who; the Lord is a person not an object; therefore, this is masculine gender not neuter.

5. "This day" = the day the child was born Naomi was not left without a kinsman for the Lord had given her a "kinsman" = some think this is referring to Boaz who was the kinsman redeemer in this book, but the language of these verses could mean no other than this boy that had just been born, for he now is the nearest kinsman to Naomi, even nearer than Boaz.

6. These women who had gathered together in Boaz's house for this joyous occasion, gave the Lord all adoration and praise for the birth of this boy and they desired "that his name may be famous in Israel" = their desire was that this boy would act the noble part‑‑the part that would proclaim its own genuine nobleness; actions speak louder than words; the elders desired that this offspring would be famous in Bethlehem (verse 11) but these women go farther than that‑‑may he "be famous in Israel."  This verse is quite a contrast to Naomi's painful lament in Ruth 1:20.

 

V. 15

1. This verse continues expressing the women's desire.

2. "He" = "him" = the new bornbaby boy.

3. "Thee" = "thy" = "thine" = Naomi.

4. "Restorer of thy life" = has the idea of returning to the starting point; no doubt Naomi, even before leaving for Moab, had a desire for grandchildren.

5. "Nourisher of thine old age" = the idea is that he will maintain and take care of her in her old age; they did not have government programs or rest homes in those days‑‑the children took care of their parents.

6. "Daughter in law" = Ruth.

7. "Which" = who; Ruth is a person not an object; therefore, this is feminine gender not neuter.

8. "Better" = is worth more; has done more; the whole inhabitants of the city knew that Ruth's love to her mother‑in‑law had been surpassing others‑‑even more than if she had seven sons.

9. "Seven" = suggests the idea of fulness, completeness, and perfection; Naomi's life was certainly now complete, given security and meaning with the birth of Ruth's son.

10. "Hath born him" = has given birth to him.

 

V. 16

1. "Naomi" = "her" = name means pleasant and she is now once again pleasant.

2. "Took the child" = picked up the newborn baby.

3. "Laid it in her bosom" = to embrace with the arms and hold close to one's breast; implies affection.

4. "Became nurse unto it" = assumed the role of caretaker.

5. "It" = refers to the child.

 

V. 17

1. "The women" = "they" = the women of the city identified as "her neighbours" = generally means one who lives close by but could mean fellow-citizens of Bethlehem.

2. "Her" = "Naomi."

3. "It" = "son born to Naomi" = "his" = "he" = "Obed" = name means worshiper, servant, or slave.

4. "Gave it a name" = named the boy; the women gave this boy his name; this is the only time in the OT that the immediate family did not name their baby.

5. This verse continues the sense of joy and celebration over a child being born.

6. "He is the father of Jesse, the father of David" = this is an abrupt change of time frame; with these words we move from the days of the judges (Ruth 1:1) to the time of the writer, who possibly was David.

 

III. Conclusion. V. 18‑22

V. 18-20

1. "Now" = introduces the "generations of Pharez" to remind its readers that God in His love was preserving His people, His promise, and His plan for Israel during the time of the judges; it was a time of social, moral, and spiritual upheaval, a time when many thought that the very covenant relationship with Jehovah was on the verge of being destroyed, but the Lord comes through victorious; chance plays no part in explaining individual and national development‑‑it is the result of Jehovah's sovereignty (chief; supreme‑‑above all others for there is no other), steadfast love, and peace, who rules all life, all time, and all history to His eternal glory.

2. "Generations" = descendants.

3. "Pharez" = the son of Judah. (Gen. 46:12)

4. "Begat" = to father a child; generate and produce.

5. "Hezron" = spelled Esrom in Mat. 1; we know nothing about him but he is in the genealogy of Jesus.

6. "Ram" = spelled Aram in Mat. 1; we know nothing about him.

7. "Amminadab" = spelled Aminadab in Mat. 1; we know nothing about him.

8. "Nahshon" = spelled Naasson in Mat. 1; at the time of Moses, he served as head of the house of Judah. (Num. 7:11‑12)

9. "Salmon" = believed to be one of the spies sent to Jericho who married Rahab, who was a Canaanite yet became the mother of Boaz; this may have caused Boaz to be willing to marry Ruth the Moabitess.

 

V. 21

1. "Boaz" = the kinsman redeemer in the book of Ruth.

2. "Obed" = baby boy born to Ruth who is mentioned in Mat. 1:5.

 

V. 22

1. "Jesse" = know very little about him.

2. "David" = King of Israel; the youngest son of Jesse; possible human instrument the Lord used to pen down this book.

3. We see in this genealogy the profound continuity of God's covenant purpose which began with Abraham and came to perfect fulfillment in a baby born in an obscure town call Bethlehem, a baby born of the house and lineage of David, a baby named Jesus‑‑our heavenly Boaz, our Kinsman Redeemer.

4. This book clearly demonstrates that our loving God works out His purpose through the lives of everyday people.  Those who became great, as for example, David, were themselves simply everyday people called by the sovereign Lord to the greatest of His glory. 

5. Ruth, an everyday person, got in on the goodness of God because she was willing to take the handfuls and wound up with the granary and that is GRACE.

6. This book is written, recorded, and preserved to show us that there is hope even in the midst of dark days such as it was in the days of the judges, which is when this event actually took place. (Ruth 1:1; Judges 21:25)

7. There is hope because of God’s GRACE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Hope Baptist Church
1661 Griggstown Road
Calvert City, KY 42029
Church -270-527-3864
Pastor - 270-559-7135
email: edgarleepaschall@juno.com
The Persuader